The first ‘graduates’ from a course designed to give young people an introduction to the roofing trade have now started work.

Five young trainees have gained apprenticeships after completing the  Building Futures Stoke-on-Trent programme run by Juniper Training and Rydale Roofing.

They include 16-year-old Rhys Tatler (main image), of Kidsgrove, who has now begun a NVQ Level 2 apprenticeship in roof slating and tiling at Rydale Roofing.

Julie Mirowski, a Director at Silverdale-based Rydale Roofing, said: “Rhys came to the first Building Future’s programme in February as part of a group who had left school the previous summer. The 24 week course gave them an introduction to roofing, learning basic skills along skilled roofers and allowing them to work towards a CSCS card, a vital qualification for anyone wanting to work on a building site.

“At the end of the Building Futures’ programme, all students get the chance to go onto an apprenticeship with one of a group of local roofing companies. It’s a win-win situation as the trade has an ageing workforce and those coming through the programme gain an apprenticeship.”

Training facilities at Rydale Roofing are now registered as an apprenticeship centre with Juniper Training.

“We’re delighted to welcome Rhys as a new member of the Rydale Roofing team,” said Julie. “In common with his four fellow trainees, he will work full time and attend training days here at Rydale.”

The second group of Building Futures Stoke-on-Trent students will also start their course at the end of September with a larger group of 15 young people, aged 16 to 19.

“As word has got around with the schools, our applications are growing,” said Julie. “We’re delighted to be involved as he trade needs an injection of youth.”

If anyone is interested in joining the programme, further details are available by calling 01782 625894 or emailing 

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